Meeting Size Doesn't Matter

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Renal & Urology News provides news coverage of about two dozen national and international meetings annually. Some of these meetings are a lot smaller than the annual meetings of the American Society of Nephrology and American Urological Society, but that does not mean we take them less seriously from a news standpoint.

In fact, one of the most important meetings we cover is the annual Prostate Cancer Symposium, which draws fewer than 2,000 attendees. The meeting, held every February, is sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Therapeutic and Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Urologic Oncology.

As in the previous two symposia, this year's meeting in Orlando was rife with important and thought-inspiring clinical research. News reports from the symposium appear throughout this issue beginning with the front page, which features a Cleveland Clinic study showing that men with early prostate cancer have lower mortality if they are treated with brachytherapy or radical prostatectomy than with external beam radiation. On page 32, we report on another study from the meeting that supports lowering the PSA velocity to 0.3-0.5 ng/mL per year from 0.75 ng/mL per year in men with PSA levels below 4 ng/mL.
 
We also cover the Annual Dialysis Conference, generally held around the same time as the Prostate Cancer Symposium. The lead article in this issue reports on one of the major studies presented at the conference, held this year in Denver. The study, focusing on patients with chronic renal failure (CRF), showed that those who are hemodialysis-dependent do not die at a higher rate following coronary artery bypass grafting compared with CRF patients who do not require hemodialysis.
 
From a medical journalist's standpoint, there's nothing more professionally rewarding and stimulating than covering a major meeting with its thousands of posters and oral presentations. Deciding what to cover, however, and then dashing from one end of a crowded convention center to the other to sit in on sessions can be challenging. But small meetings, which typically are held at a hotel, can pack a big news bang for the buck.

Be assured that the Prostate Cancer Symposium and the Annual Dialysis Conference are a permanent part of our regular news beat.

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